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CASE WINNERS

2023

African Business Cases

Sponsored by China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)

'Sasol: Tradeoff Considerations for a Just Transition' written by:

  • Marianne Matthee, University of Pretoria, ZA
  • Amy Moore, University of Pretoria, ZA
  • Anthony Wilson-Prangley, University of Pretoria, ZA
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The case “Sasol: Tradeoff Considerations for a Just Transition” highlights the complexities associated with addressing the challenge of climate change, especially for an international energy company involved in the production of gas from coal. It shows how its Vice President for Climate Change, Shamini Harrington, and her team, planned the implications for a just energy transition in a developing country, and the variety of considerations for different stakeholders’ needs. Following discussion and analysis of the case, readers should be able to have a greater appreciation of the implications of such a transition, and key elements needed for engaging with market and non-market stakeholders.


Bringing Technology to Markets

Sponsored by EFMD Global 

'Health View Bioanalytic Limited: Generating Impact from Research' written by:

  • Pong Yuen Lam, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, HK
  • Hugh Thomas, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, CN
  • Elsie Tsui, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, HK
  • Tracy Shiyu Lu, City University of Hong Kong, HK

EFMD Global would like to warmly thank The Case Centre for their expertise and contribution in assessing the cases submitted in the 'Bringing Technology to Market' category.

+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

Benny Zee was a professor at The Chinese University of Hong Kong and the founder of Health View Bioanalytic Limited, a company that offered fast, inexpensive, non-invasive assessments of the risk of stroke and Alzheimer’s disease by using artificial intelligence and automatic retinal image analysis of pictures taken by opticians’ fundus cameras. While Health View was breaking even, Zee realized that it was not yet a success. Thus, Zee was considering how to scale up the company to realize the impact of its technology. Zee had to assess the current business model—its value proposition, target market, sales channels, and strategic partners—as well as his entrepreneurial goals. This case can be used in courses on for-profit and social entrepreneurship. It allows students to analyze alternative models for delivering innovative health risk assessments and provides an example of how AI is impacting the health care industry.


Continuous Improvement: The Journey to Excellence

Sponsored by EFMD Global

'Future-proofing HEINEKEN: The EverGreen strategy' written by:

  • Niccolo Pisani, International Institute for Management Development, CH
  • Inès Augier, International Institute for Management Development, CH

EFMD Global would like to warmly thank The Case Centre for their expertise and contribution in assessing the cases submitted in the 'Continuous Improvement: The Journey to Excellence' category.

+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

On December 8, 2022, Dolf van den Brink, CEO of HEINEKEN, left the company’s global headquarters in Amsterdam for an offsite location. The preliminary results for 2022 were positive, and the progress on the company’s key strategic pillars painted an encouraging picture – a sign that HEINEKEN’s EverGreen strategy was in full swing. At the same time, rising energy and food prices, as well as global inflation, were expected to put increasing pressure on both operating costs and consumers’ purchasing power. In addition, recent geopolitical and macroeconomic developments were threatening to create a world characterized by high levels of uncertainty and volatility. Finally, society was changing at a rapid pace, and with it, the expectations of consumers and customers. As van den Brink made his way through the evening traffic, he thought about the upcoming company retreat and the key strategic initiatives that would future-proof the company for years to come.


Corporate Social Responsibility

Sponsored by Ivey Publishing

'Driving Sustainable Transformation: Michelin's Road to Natural Rubber Sustainability and Meeting the EU Deforestation Regulation' written by:

  • Rozanne Henzen, Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration, TH
  • Ian Fenwick, Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration, TH
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The EU's new Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) demands that Michelin trace the origins of its natural rubber to specific farms, providing geolocalization coordinates and proof of land legality from which the rubber was harvested. This is particularly challenging given that over 85% of the global natural rubber supply is supplied by approximately 6 million smallholder farmers. Many lack proper land titles, access to geolocalization coordinates, or the resources needed to meet EUDR rules. With enforcement beginning December 2024, Michelin faces a tight timeline. James Chang, Project Lead at the Natural Rubber Sustainability department, stands at the center of this challenge. His recent encounters with an environmental expert, smallholder farmer, and Michelin's Human Rights and Environmental Governance Committee underscore the complexities of the EUDR requirements. Michelin's transition from commitment to compliance, balancing smallholder livelihoods and environmental impact, is the central theme of this case. It raises questions about accountability, influence, and the future of sustainability.


Family Business

Sponsored by Suliman S. Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut

'Cee Dee Vacuum: Diversify or Specialize?' written by:

  • Deepak Nayak, Temple University, USA
  • Solon Moreira,Temple University, USA
  • Ram Mudambi, Temple University, USA
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

Cee Dee Vacuum Equipment Pvt. Ltd., a family-owned Indian company specializing in equipment for electrical transformer manufacturing and maintenance, has successfully navigated three decades of growth. With a strong focus on engineering excellence and customer satisfaction, founders Nitin and Suhas Dhamale have positioned Cee Dee as a leading supplier in India and beyond. As the brothers plan for the next 15 years, they face a strategic dilemma: pursue specialization by developing transformer components and small transformers or diversify into engineered products for other industries. This case provides valuable insights for decision-making in family business, entrepreneurship, and innovation contexts, as it explores the factors influencing this critical choice and its implications for Cee Dee's future growth and eventual exit strategy.


Finance and Banking

Sponsored by Portsmouth Business School

'Royal Bank of Canada: Bitcoin Mining and Climate Change?' written by:

  • Hubert Pun, Ivey Business School, CA
  • Amin Mazhari, Ivey Business School, CA
  • Karim Hamasni, Ivey Business School, CA
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

In its effort to fight climate change, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) established its RBC Climate Blueprint, an enterprise strategy to accelerate clean economic growth and support its clients in a socially inclusive transition to net-zero. This study was carried out in response to a strategic decision-making requirement from RBC regarding Bitcoin and new technology investment. The case discusses the Bitcoin mining process, energy consumption associated with the mining procedure, and the impact of Bitcoin mining on climate change. Then the students need to answer what environment-related reputational risk might RBC face if the bank were to support products and services around Bitcoin.


Latin American Business Cases

Sponsored by Universidad Externado de Colombia

'TecSalud’s Response to COVID-19' written by:

  • María Helena Jaén, IESA Business School and Universidad de los Andes, School of Management, CO
  • Ezequiel Reficco, ESCP Business School, FR
  • Jorge Ordóñez, Technologico de Monterrey, MX
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

This case explores TecSalud's -Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey's healthcare system- response to COVID-19 between March 2020 and January 2021. It focuses on crisis management during a sanitary emergency and offers lessons to other industries. TecSalud's leaders made controversial decisions, notably designating San José Hospital as a COVID-19-only treatment center. Two critical junctures stand out: In May 2020, Guillermo Torre and the Response Team decided to maintain course despite the financial losses incurred, and in January 2021, amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, they faced the dilemma of halting admissions over care quality concerns. The case highlights the leadership team's challenges, the role of sound decision-making under pressure, and the value of engaging key stakeholders in crisis management. It is intended for management students at the undergraduate, MBA, and executive education levels. It has proven effective in engaging students, as they put themselves in the shoes of decision-makers charged with providing responses to a crisis.


Responsible Business

Sponsored by University of Canterbury

'Driving Sustainable Transformation: Michelin's Road to Natural Rubber Sustainability and Meeting the EU Deforestation Regulation' written by:

  • Rozanne Henzen, Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration, TH
  • Ian Fenwick, Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration, TH
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The EU's new Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) demands that Michelin trace the origins of its natural rubber to specific farms, providing geolocalization coordinates and proof of land legality from which the rubber was harvested. This is particularly challenging given that over 85% of the global natural rubber supply is supplied by approximately 6 million smallholder farmers. Many lack proper land titles, access to geolocalization coordinates, or the resources needed to meet EUDR rules. With enforcement beginning December 2024, Michelin faces a tight timeline. James Chang, Project Lead at the Natural Rubber Sustainability department, stands at the center of this challenge. His recent encounters with an environmental expert, smallholder farmer, and Michelin's Human Rights and Environmental Governance Committee underscore the complexities of the EUDR requirements. Michelin's transition from commitment to compliance, balancing smallholder livelihoods and environmental impact, is the central theme of this case. It raises questions about accountability, influence, and the future of sustainability.


Responsible Leadership

Sponsored by Cork University Business School 

'Defining Capitalism’s Character: Tom Peters Versus McKinsey' written by:

  • Gerard Seijts, Ivey Business School, CA
  • Thomas Watson, Ivey Business School, CA
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

In early 2021, McKinsey & Company (McKinsey) agreed to pay US$573 million to end US state-level investigations into claims that it had helped exacerbate the global opioid crisis. Tom Peters, an influential and highly respected management guru, was upset by how far his former employer had been willing to go in helping US drug maker Purdue Pharma LP increase sales of OxyContin, a narcotic-based painkiller that helped drive an opioid epidemic responsible for hundreds of thousands of tragic deaths. As far as Peters was concerned, there was no question as to whether what McKinsey did was wrong: it had ignored the “moral responsibility of business” by helping an unethical client maximize profit by aggressively promoting the wide-scale use of a highly addictive drug. In addition to asking why McKinsey was still open for business, Peters posed a previously unimaginable question: “At this moment in time, why would anyone want to go to work for McKinsey?


Women in Business

Sponsored by Universidad Panamericana

'Aftertaste Foundation: Dignified Livelihood through Art' written by:

  • Vidur Dhabaria, Aftertaste Foundation, IN
  • Meena Galliara, NMIMS University, IN
  • Swati Sisodia, NMIMS University, IN
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

Aftertaste Foundation, a social enterprise founded by Shalini Datta, is dedicated to empowering women in impoverished urban areas of Mumbai by equipping them with artistic pursuits to earn their livelihoods. The enterprise commenced with three craftswomen in 2013. Paucity of funds forced Datta to single-handedly manage multiple tasks, including training, recruiting volunteers, designing products, managing inventories, maintaining quality control, and establishing market connections. Eventually, her tenacious efforts resulted in generating employment opportunities for a team of forty women. In March 2020, Aftertaste's expansion coincided with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, tossing unprecedented challenges and plummeting the enterprise into financial uncertainty. Faced with this daunting reality, Datta used her problem-solving skills and sought a strategy to navigate her enterprise from the losses and transit toward sustainable growth. Armed with confidence and ecosystem support, Datta aspires to provide a livelihood to 750 women and create a significant social impact by 2025.

2022

African Business Cases

Sponsored by China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)

'Reel Gardening: Pursuing a Social Mission through Market Mechanisms' written by:

  • Wiboon Kittilaksanawong, Saitama University, JP
  • Marta Paszta, Nagoya University of Commerce & Business, JP
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

In May 2021, Claire Reid, the founder of social enterprise start-up Reel Gardening, spoke about her ambitious ten-year plan to help secure nutritious food for impoverished people in South Africa and elsewhere in the world. Reel Gardening produced and sold a paper strip packed with seeds and fertilizer. Although the company had grown significantly, it had to manage the dual mission of social contribution and financial sustainability. The company had to determine whether expansion would shift it away from its social mission. Should Reid pursue an ambitious growth strategy, or should she keep the company small, grow it slowly, and focus on the larger social impact? Going forward, how should the company manage its growth, both strategically and financially?


Bringing Technology to Markets

Sponsored by EFMD Global 

'Innovate Storytelling: How Webtoon Entertainment Transformed Comics' written by:

  • Renée Mauborgne , INSEAD, FR
  • W.Chan Kim , INSEAD, FR
  • Oh Young Koo , INSEAD, FR

EFMD Global would like to warmly thank The Case Centre for their expertise and contribution in assessing the cases submitted in the 'Bringing Technology to Market' category.

+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

WEBTOON Entertainment is a platform that connects creators and users of digital comic content in a vertical layout format, optimized for PC and mobile browsing. It is not only a hub for digital comics for 82 million monthly active users and 800,000 creators, but also a rich pool of original stories that are being adapted into other media like films, TV shows, and novels. The case explores the key milestones of WEBTOON Entertainment to show how the company transformed the comic book industry and became the world’s largest storytelling platform.

More specifically, it describes how the company unlocked new creative talents and built an ecosystem for webtoon business based on a platform economy, monetized the once-free content into a multi-billion-dollar business, and rolled it out globally despite cultural and language barriers. Finally, the case describes the challenges ahead that WEBTOON Entertainment faces in the lucrative yet competitive digital comics industry.


Continuous Improvement: The Journey to Excellence

Sponsored by EFMD Global

'Cybersecurity at FireEye: Human + AI' written by:

  • Steven Miller, Singapore Management University, SG
  • Lipika Bhattacharya, Singapore Management University, SG

EFMD Global would like to warmly thank The Case Centre for their expertise and contribution in assessing the cases submitted in the 'Continuous Improvement: The Journey to Excellence' category.

+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

This case explores how a multinational cybersecurity firm, FireEye (now called Mandiant), kept pace with the speed of cybersecurity threat changes by using AI-based solutions to provide improved services to its clients. FireEye used a conceptual AI use case framework called the ‘Automatability Spectrum’ to determine the appropriate degree of automation for developing different solutions. Tasks that involved complex decision-making, were more uncertain, and incorporated human verification were augmented with AI while repetitive tasks were fully automated. This Human+AI approach enabled FireEye to both expand and scale its support services.

However, cyber attackers were constantly ‘upping their game’ with rapid technological innovations that were creating new threat exposures, requiring improvements in FireEye AI solutions along different parts of the Automatability Spectrum. The case examines the Human+AI approach, and assesses its benefits, amidst an ever-changing world where continuous improvement in AI solution building is critical in keeping pace with disruption and emerging threats.


Corporate Social Responsibility

Sponsored by ESC PAU Business School

'Back Market and the Global E-Waste Crisis' written by:

  • Syeda Maseeha Qumer, ICFAI, IN
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The case explores how e-waste is a complex environmental issue and the role companies like Back Market can play in combating it. Paris based renewed electronics online marketplace Back Market is tackling the e-waste crisis by offering a sustainable alternative to new tech through the creation of an online marketplace specializing in selling professionally refurbished electronic and household appliances at affordable prices to environmentally responsible customers looking to purchase used products. However, the company has been facing some challenges in its fight against e-waste, including building consumer trust in refurbished tech, influencing consumer behaviour in order to make refurbished their first choice for electronic purchases, expanding to new markets and sustaining growth. With e-waste being such a critical issue for the planet as well as for human life, what more can Back Market do to capitalize on its commitment and encourage more consumers to use its refurbished products?


Entrepreneurship

Sponsored by emlyon business school

'ApiYoo: A New Breed of Entrepreneurship' written by:

  • Gao Wang, China Europe International Business School, CN
  • Qiong Zhu, China Europe International Business School, CN
  • Rui Zhang, China Europe International Business School, CN
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

Is there space for startups in a fully matured market where market incumbents are embroiled in cut-throat competition? And if so, how can new entrants carve out a niche? Through its own experience, ApiYoo has come up with an answer. As a 4-year-old startup in consumer goods, ApiYoo has distinguished itself from others in that while most startups begin by concentrating on just one single brand, ApiYoo established seven brands in different market segments. For every new entry, it has adopted a strategy of appearance differentiation. After four years of development, in 2020, it achieved annual operating revenue of ¥1.2 billion, against its larger ¥10 billion goal for a yearly income by 2025. Although its strategy has borne some fruit, consumers' aesthetic preferences are subjective and volatile. Therefore, it will face challenges in realising an 8-fold growth within five years.

 

'Twiga – Improving Market Access for Farmers in Kenya' written by:

  • K B S Kumar, ICFAI Business School, IN
  • Indu Perepu, ICFAI Business School, IN
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

Twiga, founded by entrepreneurs Grant Brooke and Peter Njojo, is a mobile-based B2B tech platform supplying fresh fruits and vegetables from farmers in rural Kenya directly to small and medium-sized vendors and kiosks known as Mama Mobgas, in Nairobi. Twiga aimed to address the issues plaguing the produce supply chain in Kenya by linking the farmers with informal vendors through a cashless mobile technology platform. Twiga supported them with cold storage, warehouses, and an efficient supply chain. In the process, Twiga eliminated the middlemen, minimized post-harvest losses, and lowered the price of the fresh produce; farmers got assured offtake and a better deal for their crop, and vendors got good quality produce delivered to their doorstep. The highly scalable and replicable model of Twiga could hold the answer to the challenges of food insecurity and food inflation.


Family Business

Sponsored by Suliman S. Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut

'Pollo Campero, the Taste of Latin America: Can it Capture the US?' written by:

  • V. Namratha Prasad, ICFAI Business School, IN
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The case talks about the growth journey of the world’s largest Latin American (LatAm) chicken chain Pollo Campero (PC) from a small family-run business in Guatemala to a Multilatina company with more than 350 restaurants across the world, as of 2022. The case starts off with a brief history of PC and describes the most important factor in its success – both in LatAm and international markets – its ability to create a feeling of ‘coming home’ in the minds of its customers. Also, its focus on family-style meals, rather than on individual tickets, meant that it got more revenue on each sale.
The case takes an in-depth look into PC’s strategy to move away from the niche Hispanic market in the US chicken QSR market and target the mainstream to have higher growth. Considering that the US is a melting pot of cultures, can PC one day become ‘Americans’ Favorite Fried Chicken Chain’?


Finance and Banking

Sponsored by Portsmouth Business School

'US Bancorp – Fighting Off Malicious Attacks and Ensuring Business Continuity' written by:

  • V. Namratha Prasad, ICFAI Business School, IN
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

Malicious attacks and online financial fraud have become numerous and costlier than ever. The case documents the measures taken by US-based banking conglomerate US Bancorp to fend them off and ensure business continuity. It describes, in particular, a series of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks from an international entity that US Bancorp combatted effectively due to it being well-prepared.
US Bancorp also took measures to prevent the rising instances of identity theft and malware faced by its customers. The case provides an insight into the tools and technologies adopted by the bank to prevent fraud, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and geolocation services. An in-depth look is also taken into the framework for security and control at the bank, including disaster recovery planning and business continuity planning. It remained to be seen if US Bancorp could effectively leverage technology to navigate the ever-changing fraud landscape in the future.


Hidden Champions

Sponsored by EBS Business School

'Coming of Age in Central Asia: BI Group's Quest for Growth' written by:

  • Onajomo Akemu, Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Business, KZ
  • Atanu Rakshit, Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Business, KZ
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

Founded as a food trading company in 1995—shortly after the collapse the Soviet Union—BI Group grew to become the largest construction company in Kazakhstan. The company constructs civil infrastructure, such as bridges, residential and commercial real estate in Kazakhstan’s major cities, and iconic architectural landmarks in Kazakhstan’s new capital, Astana. With over $1 billion in revenue, 5,800 employees, a healthy profit margin, a close-knit organizational culture, BI Group had a dominant share in its home market by 2019. In that year, the company was recognized as the 198th (of the top 250) largest construction firms by revenue globally.

Despite this impressive achievement, BI’s Chairman and Founder, Aidyn Rakhimbayev, and his top leadership team realized that BI Group would soon outgrow its home market. In 2019, Rakhimbayev set an ambitious strategic goal for the company: to become one of the top 100 global contractors in the construction industry by 2024. That goal would place BI in the same league as the most sophisticated European, Chinese, American and Japanese global construction firms. To achieve the goal BI’s Group’s had to triple revenues, expand into foreign countries and develop capabilities in the industrial segment of the construction industry.

After reviewing the company’s experience constructing physical assets, Rakhimbayev and his leadership team took stock of the countries BI Group had targeted across the Former Soviet Union. How attractive were these markets? What were the risks to BI Group of expanding abroad? As he pondered these questions, he wondered whether BI should concentrate on the construction business in Kazakhstan or divert resources to opportunities in the European Union? If so, which foreign markets and segments should the company target? And how could he, his board of directors and BI’s top managers manage construction projects successfully in those foreign markets?


Latin American Business Cases

Sponsored by Universidad Externado de Colombia

'Mazatlán: The Destination That Did Not Like Its Brands' written by:

  • Nicolas Kervyn, Université Catholique de Louvain, BE
  • Fernando Rey Castillo Villar, Universidad Panamericana (IPADE), MX
  • Silvestre Flores Gamboa, Universidad Autónoma de Occidente, CO
  • Manuel Lopezneria , Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP), MX
  • Matt Thomson , Ivey Business School , CA
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The popular seaside town Mazatlán, in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico, has many positive qualities as a tourist destination. However, the city has been plagued by violence and corruption linked to drug cartels and criminal organizations. For example, the Sinaloa Cartel is one of Mexico’s most powerful drug cartels, with historic and ongoing ties to Mazatlán. In fact, many local taxi drivers have decided to offer so-called “narco-tours,” charging a fee to take tourists to various points of interest where violent criminal activity has occurred. Mazatlán raises a dilemma for marketers of this popular tourist destination—for both positive and negative reasons. With widespread media coverage of crime related to drug cartels, how should marketers manage the town’s brand as a destination and target visitors to grow the Mazatlán’s tourism sector?


MENA Business Cases

Sponsored by School of Business, The American University in Cairo (AUC)

'TruKKer: The Uberization of Trucking in MENA Region' written by:

  • Trilochan Tripathy, XLRI Jamshedpur, IN
  • Benudhar Sahu, XLRI Jamshedpur, IN
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The case is about TruKKer, a UAE-based start-up, founded by Gaurav Biswas to offer tech-driven organized logistics services in the fragmented land freight market in the MENA region. The case examines how end-to-end digitization along with AI and ML tools in the aforesaid market spurred TruKKer’s growth, innovation, and competitive advantage in the MENA region. It offers detailed insights into TruKKer’s innovation-led land freight solutions and its mission to optimize logistics and fleet management in the land freight market. TruKKer’s home-base competitive advantage in MENA region intertwined with asset-light business model, technology, and third-party logistics solutions created value for diverse stakeholders, which could be subject matter of discussion in the strategic management curriculum of MBA and EMBA program.


Responsible Business

Sponsored by School of Business, The American University in Cairo (AUC)

'MITTI Café: enabling disability inclusion in India through scalable business model' written by:

  • Amy Moore, Gordon Institute of Business Science, ZA
  • Tracey Toefy, Gordon Institute of Business Science, ZA
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The case explores the development of MITTI Café, an organisation that trains and employs individuals with intellectual, physical and/or psychiatric disabilities to work in inclusive kitchens and cafes in India. The protagonist is the founder of the café, Alina Alam, who has won several international awards for her work. The case highlights Alam’s approach and how she is trying to challenge societal and business perspectives relating to disability. From 2017 – 2021 Alam has scaled and operationalised the business, building her core team, leveraging several partnerships with stakeholders and putting into place offerings, processes and procedures that created a sustainable business model and blueprint.

MITTI Café aligns itself with several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with sustainability and social impact at the core of its strategy. It ends with Alam considering the future and what else needs to be taken into consideration to scale either within India or abroad.


Responsible Leadership

Sponsored by University of San Diego School of Business

'“Carbon is the new calorie”: Logitech’s carbon impact label to drive transparency in sustainability' written by:

  • Julia Binder, IMD - International Institute for Management Development, CH
  • Heather Cairns-Lee, IMD - International Institute for Management Development, CH
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

This case focuses on Logitech, a leading tech company that demonstrates a commitment to responsible leadership and sustainability. The case follows the journey of Prakash Arunkundrum, Head of Global Operations and Sustainability, and his team as they embark on an ambitious carbon labeling initiative to support Logitech’s aspiration to become climate positive. The team creates a transparent methodology for assessing, validating, and communicating the life cycle carbon value of their products. However, the most significant challenge they face is gaining industry-wide adoption of carbon labeling in the tech sector. The case highlights the multifaceted nature of realizing ambitious sustainability goals, involving multiple stakeholders, and the difficulties in building strong partnerships. It underscores the critical importance of responsible leadership, gaining internal support and driving meaningful change. Overall, this case serves as an inspiring example of how companies can prioritize responsible business practices and make a significant impact on our planet and society.


Women in Business

Sponsored by The Erasmus Centre for Women and Organisations (ECWO)

'Aspiration, Action, Determination: Zhu Jing, Founder of Sunkwan Group' written by:

  • Jean Lee, China Europe International Business School, CN
  • Xin Zheng, China Europe International Business School, CN
  • Liman Zhao, China Europe International Business School, CN
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The case presents the challenges that Zhu Jing faces as a female entrepreneur in the real estate industry and how she has addressed them. In the past years, she has been focusing on improving product capabilities to win fair returns from the market and simultaneously making up for weak resources and capabilities with cooperation. Empathy, trust, empowerment, and other features of Zhu’s leadership and the company’s business philosophy give birth to a united executive team. However, China’s real estate industry has experienced dramatic changes since June 2021. Sunkwan re-designed a reward and punishment system for all executive members to overcome the challenges and motivate the team for better performance. The 2021 performance, however, fell short of expectations and Zhu hesitated on whether to punish executives according to the rules or administer a light punishment. The decision mirrors Zhu’s traits and leadership style as a female entrepreneur.

2021

African Business Cases

Sponsored by China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)

'ANGAZA: A Silicon Valley Journey' written by:

  • Vanina Farber, IMD - International Institute for Management Development, CH
  • Shih-Han Huang, IMD - Institute for Management Development, CH
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

Angaza’s story is not a typical solar light story, but the story of a female social entrepreneur with a for-profit Silicon Valley mindset, transforming a social enterprise from a hardware to a software business model. It is about pivots, changing value propositions, new products and business models as Angaza evolves to escalate social impact while still making money.

Angaza began as a solar-light company founded in 2010 by Stanford graduate Lesley Silverthorn Marincola to address energy poverty in rural off-grid communities. In her quest to address affordability, Lesley realised that the main problem confronting rural off-grid communities was not the price of solar lights per se, but finding a way to spread payments over time. In 2012, Angaza pivoted to becoming a software provider offering pay-as-you-go (PAYG) metering and monitoring technology to players in the solar-light ecosystem. After a successful run, what is next though for this company?


Bringing Technology to Markets

Sponsored by EFMD Global 

'HP Inc.: Poised to Lead in 3D Printing?' written by:

  • Andreas Schotter, Ivey Business School, CA
  • Ramasastry Chandrasekhar, Ivey Business School, CA

EFMD Global would like to warmly thank the Bringing Technology to Market (BTM) Center, ESMT Berlin for their expertise and contribution in assessing the cases submitted in the “Bringing Technology to Market” category.

+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

In April 2020, the interim president of the 3D printing and digital manufacturing business of HP Inc. (HP) is weighing his options in resolving three managerial dilemmas: (1) How should HP promote technology awareness among industrial customers? (2) How should HP scale up its production of 3D printers? (3) How could HP promote shorter technology adoption cycles among industrial customers?

With this case, students have an opportunity to step into the shoes of the head of HP’s 3D printing business and find a way forward for each dilemma he faces, which will give them the opportunity to (A) highlight the intricacies in the rapid rise and evolution of the technology business segment;
(B) explore how technology can disrupt established value creation models; and
(C) discover the switch from a manufacturing model to a mix of a manufacturing and service model. This case is suitable in undergraduate, graduate, and executive education programs focusing on strategy, disruptive innovation, and business transformation.


Continuous Improvement: The Journey to Excellence

Sponsored by EFMD Global

'The Plastilene Group: Sustainable Innovation Strategy' written by:

  • Ricardo Estrada, Plastilene Group, CO
  • Juan Carlos Rodriguez, Temple University, US
  • Michael Rivera, Temple University, US

EFMD Global would like to warmly thank The Case Centre for their expertise and contribution in assessing the cases submitted in the 'Continuous Improvement: The Journey to Excellence' category.

+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

This case illustrates how Ricardo Estrada, Corporate Purchasing and Sustainability Manager, with the support of Plastilene Group's CEO, Stefano Pacini, undertook a strategic renewal process in a 62-year history Plastic films Group with production plants in Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and the United States. Strategic renewal arises from the theories of sustainability and the circular economy responding to media and legislative attacks and consumer behavior changes regarding plastic products at a global level. Implementing the Sustainable Innovation Strategy facilitates Plastilene Group to tackle the global plastic crisis and find new opportunities to grow sustainably.


Corporate Social Responsibility

Sponsored by ESC PAU Business School

'Ant Forest: Starting From Environmental Protection' written by:

  • Meng Rui, CEIBS- China Europe International Business School, CN
  • Qiong Zhu, CEIBS- China Europe International Business School, CN
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

Ant Forest not only heralded a new model for protecting the environment, but also generated unique economic value for the Alipay payment app and its parent company Ant Financial. Ant Forest is a classic example of how a business can create economic value by delivering social value. In just over three years of operations, Ant Forest chalked up two distinctive achievements: First, it functioned as a green initiative and public benefit platform accessible to individuals, public welfare organisations, and public benefit corporations (PBCs). Specifically, it offered tangible incentives (planting new trees) to reward low-carbon lifestyles, creating a virtuous, closed-loop system. Second, Ant Forest sought to benefit the public while delivering economic value. The company encouraged users to pay with Alipay by rewarding them with green energy points. Users could redeem these points to plant trees or contribute to other environmental activities carried out by Alipay on their behalf.


Entrepreneurship

Sponsored by emlyon business school

'An African Entrepreneur’s Journey: Post-Pandemic Opportunities and Challenges for Adventure Travel' written by:

  • Shreshthi Mehta, Northeastern University, US
  • Marilyn Anthony, Fox Business School, US

 

'Unieuro: Retail Management in a Global Crisis' written by:

  • Daniele Scarpi, BBS Unibo, IT
  • Annamaria Cofano, Wedolab, IT
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The case raises contemporary issues about the growth challenges of the fintech startup Nubank. Based in São Paulo, Nubank has become one of the largest technology-based banks in Latin America. The case highlights how cumbersome bureaucracy in Brazilian banking led to the conception of a disruptive fintech startup with an entrepreneurial spirit. It shows the founders' emphasis on the importance of culture, values, and team spirit, which formed their organisational DNA's genesis. As Nubank grew, the founders realised how an entrepreneurial approach to defining its core values and culture became the strategic differentiation for competitiveness compared with the established banking sector's hierarchical system. The case's main teaching objective is to evaluate the organisational challenges for startups facing rapid growth, such as recruiting, designing, setting up, and managing teams while maintaining their corporate culture and values, essential to their differentiation strategy.


Family Business

Sponsored by Suliman S. Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut

'Brown-Forman: Nothing better in the market' written by:

  • Benoit Leleux, IMD - International Institute for Management Development, CH
  • Marta Widz, IMD - International Institute for Management Development, CH
  • Marc Chauvet, IMD - International Institute for Management Development, CH
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

In 2020, the Brown-Forman Corporation was preparing to celebrate its 150th anniversary. But the onset of COVID-19 had ruined the celebration plans, pushing instead the spirits producer to prepare plans to weather this storm.  With its global footprint, a turnover in excess of $3.3 billion and over 4,800 employees worldwide, the family business was cognizant of how this pandemic would disrupt world economies, affecting not only employee lives but also the livelihoods of partners in the hospitality industry. The hope was that its long-term-focused, engaged stockholder base, a commitment to sustainability, and a strong governance system would prove tremendous advantages in such situation. Successive boards had painstakingly put together solid company and family governance structures and processes and carefully rebalanced the company's portfolio precisely to mitigate the impact of dire times. Now was the time for the real-world “stress test."


Finance and Banking

Sponsored by Portsmouth Business School

'Business Intelligence and Geographic Information Systems in the Banking Industry: A Case Study of Improved Appraisal Performance for Home Loan Valuation' written by:

  • Araya Chaiprasert, NIDA Business School, National Institute of Development Administration, TH
  • Jongsawas Chongwatpol, NIDA Business School, National Institute of Development Administration, TH
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

This case study is designed to illustrate how to utilise a business intelligence framework and a geographic information system (GIS) to make better decisions in the banking industry. The case started when the senior certified analytic professional, and the geographic information system (GIS) solutions expert were drafting a proposal presentation to help a bank improve its home loan appraisal process. The current appraisal process was time-consuming and the appraisal value from the internal and external appraisers were very different as the appraisal process relied heavily on the opinions and judgements from all appraisal staffs. This was a great opportunity for the bank to revisit the current appraisal process and to demonstrate how business intelligence and GIS could aid in the appraisal decision. The proposed GIS-based BI dashboard allowed the appraisal team to the analyse data-related to the appraised property in real-time.


Hidden Champions

Sponsored by Hidden Champions Institute (HCI), ESMT Berlin

'Polycorp Ltd: A Pricing and Investment Dilemma' written by:

  • Peggy Cunningham, Ivey Publishing, CA
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

Polycorp Ltd., is a private, mid-sized Canadian firm that is a leading designer and manufacturer of engineered polymer products. The firm has three divisions. The firm had been growing rapidly and exports accounted for over 78.3 percent of the firm’s sales. The mining division generated almost half of the firm’s sales and profits. Its protective polymer mill liners were used in ore grinding mills deployed by mining operations around the world. In the face of a major recession in the mining industry, the CEO was being pressured by his customers to lower the prices of the mill liners. A price cut would not only affect the firm’s profitability, it would also impact the firm’s five-year capital investment plan that was aim at expanding the firm’s plant and further improving its processes.  The CEO was considering five options ranging from selectively cutting prices in the most competitive regions to raising prices.


Inclusive Business Models

Sponsored by IMD - International Institute for Management Development

'Batec Mobility: Creating, Scaling, and Selling an Inclusive Business' written by:

  • Alfred Vernis, Esade Business School, ES
  • Suzanne Jenkins, Esade Business School, ES
  • Lisa Hehenberger, Esade Business School, ES
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

Entrepreneur Pau Bach, who has tetraplegia, built his company, Batec Mobility, with an inclusive business model in which profit and purpose are tightly integrated. A personal mobility device company, Batec was created by people with disabilities, employs people with disabilities, and that aims to revolutionise mobility for people in wheelchairs. In June of 2019, Pau is considering different exit options in light of several goals: providing an exit to current investors, ensuring the continued growth of the business and its inclusive model, and reducing his role in the company to meet personal needs. When he receives an offer, he must evaluate whether to accept it or continue pursuing alternatives. Leading up to this moment, the case reviews the company’s stages of development, the funding it received, and the sale process. In this way, students explore the opportunities and challenges of developing, funding, and selling an inclusive business. 

 

'Ecoflora: Sustainable Innovation in an Emerging Economy' written by:

  • Ezequiel Reficco, ESCP Business School
  • Roberto Gutiérrez, Universidad de los Andes, CO
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The Ecoflora case is structured around two of the most fundamental questions in strategic management: How is value created? And how is it captured? As authors, we were intrigued by the fact that Ecoflora’s differentiation strategy made not just business sense, but that it also played a critical role in the social dimension: price premiums and robust margins financed its mission of empowering vulnerable suppliers and preserving the environment. The case describes Ecoflora’s journey, from the moment the Cock family acquired it in 1997, driven to a large extent by the urge to catalyse positive social change in Chocó's --Colombia's poorest department. As the company sought to establish itself, its leadership extracted valuable lessons from a series of eventful twists and turns. At the end of the case, management realises that the company's commitment to vulnerable suppliers would constrain its planned expansion to meet increasing international demand, a tension that called for difficult decisions.


Latin American Business Cases

Sponsored by Universidad Externado de Colombia

'Antigal: Strategy and Succession Challenges in a Family-Owned Vineyard with Global Ambitions' written by:

  • Lucia Pierini, CEIBS- China Europe International Business School, CN
  • Martin Roll, Martin Roll Company
  • Gianfranco Siciliano, CEIBS- China Europe International Business School, CN
  • Zhijing Cao, CEIBS- China Europe International Business School, CN
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

What does it take family firms to be successful? What are their succession challenges? How do they professionalise their business? This case examines the complexity of running a second-generation family firm. A captivating discussion about ownership, governance and entrepreneurship in a family firm dealing with internal tensions among its members and external tensions from venturing growth in different markets. Educators and executives will discuss about the dynamics of generational change and how this change may constitute an opportunity or a threat for the long-term family business strategy. During the case discussion, they will be asked to make critical decisions as the family and business grow, relationships change, and markets expand.


MENA Business Cases

Sponsored by EFMD Global

'Introducing a Sustainable Business Model in Africa: The Case of BioDrive in Morocco' written by:

  • Majid El Ghaib, ESCA Ecole de Management, MA
  • Mark Davis, Bentley University, US

EFMD Global would like to warmly thank Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Amann for his expertise and contribution in assessing the cases submitted in the “MENA Business Cases” category.

+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

In Morocco, among the few in the MENA region that import all their fossil fuel needs, a local startup (BioDrive) has developed a frugal process for recycling and transforming used cooking oils into a more efficient, less polluting, and cheaper source of energy: biodiesel.As a startup company in the very protected Moroccan petroleum products market with strong barriers to entry, BioDrive is limited in its sales to a B2B market. Unlike Europe and the US, current Moroccan laws and regulations are still not completely favorable to the transition to a low-carbon economy.  In the absence of an incentive legal framework, the company is exploring alternatives to market this product that includes corporate social responsibility (CSR) benefits from using this renewable source of energy. The business case helps students analyse the market potential and develop a responsible marketing strategy to promote the sales for BioDrive’s new biodiesel product in alignment with the CSR priorities of the identified customer segments.


Responsible Business

Sponsored by School of Business, The American University in Cairo (AUC)

'Tender Greens: Can they keep the ‘Green’ Promise in Beef Sourcing?' written by:

  • Marilyn Anthony, Temple University, US
  • Neha Mittal, Temple University, US
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The case on 'Tender Greens' is a unique blend that incorporates supply chain management issues, strategic positioning of a company, issues around ethics and corporate social responsibility, as well as managing day-to-day operations when a business begins to grow and expand. We hope that this case will help business executives and scholars better understand how a company can balance and assign relative importance to different stakeholder groups when making decisions.


Responsible Leadership

Sponsored by University of San Diego School of Business

'NIA Impact Capital: Active Ownership for Social Justice' written by:

  • Vanina Farber, IMD - International Institute for Management Development, CH
  • María Helena Jaén, Universidad de los Andes, CO
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The case is about a sustainable investor firm based in California, Nia Impact Capital, and its founder Kristin Hull. Hull’s aim is to invest in gender and racial justice and to make money with meaning and purpose. She brings the logic of impact investing to public markets, exercising active ownership and engaging with portfolio companies, including Tesla, IBM and Apple. The case allows students to understand Nia Impact Capital's strategy. Students evaluate stewardship rights and their duty to influence corporate strategy for diversity disclosure and against mandatory arbitration. They learn to exercise proactive engagement, shareholder resolutions and proxy voting. Finally, they prepare a proposal to the US Securities & Exchange Commission and write a speech to Tesla's board. The role of personal values and intentionality in investments is discussed.

 

'Youth4Jobs: Evolving and Scaling Up a Disability Inclusion Model' written by:

  • Ramnarayan Subramaniam, Indian School of Business, IN
  • Sunita Mehta, Indian School of Business, IN
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The case deals with Youth4Jobs (Y4J), a not-for-profit organisation that served the disabled youth, by providing them with market-oriented skills and livelihoods. The CEO and core team of Y4J had previous experience in skill development and placement of rural youth. However, they quickly discovered that dealing with disabled youth required a totally different approach. Furthermore, different disabilities posed different challenges. They developed the model for youth with locomotor disabilities and then extended it to other disabilities. The case describes their experiences, the lessons learned and how they evolved their model for Y4J. Y4J grew phenomenally and built its presence across the country. Given the prevalence of disability in India, the CEO believed that Y4J had to further enhance its reach to support as many people as possible. The case closes with the dilemma faced by the CEO of setting the future direction of Y4J to enhance its impact.


Women in Business

Sponsored by IMD - International Institute for Management Development

'The WNBA: The League Betting on Women' written by:

  • Adam Steinbach, University of South Carolina, US
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

In 2021, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) embarked on its 25th season, having established itself as a mainstay in American professional sports but not yet broken through as a major competitor. Part One of this case takes stock of the WNBA’s place in the sports landscape at year 25, including the impact of gender inequities in explaining the league’s secondary status in the United States. Part Two takes a closer look at the WNBA’s strained relationship with its players, whose frustrations with the league took center stage during a lengthy and contentious negotiation that ultimately culminated in a historic collective bargaining agreement shortly before the league entered its 25th season. Together, the two parts of this case encourage students to grapple with a complex mix of societal and stakeholder issues, before challenging them to develop recommendations for growing the WNBA in the historically male-dominated sports industry.

2020

African Business Cases

Sponsored by China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)

Medical cannabis: Afriplex’s diversification and integration strategy in an undefined market", written by:

  • Stefan Christiaan Nel, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, ZA
  • Mikael Samuelsson, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, ZA
  • Sarah Boyd, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, ZA
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The Afriplex case puts readers in the room with a South African pharmaceutical manufacturer's leaders as they debate which strategy for entering the newly deregulated medical cannabis industry will win over investors. Afriplex's depth of scientific and manufacturing expertise, built through years of synthesising an array of products from South Africa's unique indigenous botanicals, has positioned the company to be a strong competitor in the local market. Following Afriplex's journey to becoming a high performing manufacturer, along with the evolution of the global medical cannabis market, this case presents an exciting look at the opportunities and challenges for first movers in Africa.


Bringing Technology to Markets

Sponsored by Bringing Technology to Market (BTM) Center, ESMT Berlin

“SAM 100: Will Construction Robotics Disrupt the US Bricklaying Industry?”, written by:

  • Dominique Turpin, IMD - Institute for Management Development, CH
  • Douglas Quackenbos, University of South Carolina, US
  • Martin S. Roth, University of Charleston, US
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The SAM100 case explores the marketing challenges that a robotics and automation technology start-up faces in the construction industry. A recommended framework for analysis is Rogers' Diffusion of Innovations. By applying the analysis of the adoption curve, students can work through the process of diagnosing what might be impeding sales of the SAM100 and then identify which market segments, targets and positioning strategies will help accelerate the adoption of this innovation in order for it to progress through to a robust product lifecycle. The case highlights fascinating and valuable analysis areas, including robotics and the fear of job loss, diffusion of innovations, branding and naming, business to business customer value and benefits, and commercialization.


Continuous Improvement: The Journey to Excellence

Sponsored by EFMD Global

“Managing Lean Success: A Warehouse Balancing Act (A) & (B)”, written by:

  • Tao Yue, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, NL
  • Deborah Sherwood, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, NL
  • Rene De Koster, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, NL

EFMD Global would like to warmly thank the Director and the team of Mayoral Continuous Improvement Chair of San Telmo Business School for their expertise and contribution in assessing the cases submitted in the “Continuous Improvement: The Journey to Excellence” category.

+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The case examines CEVA Logistics's challenges, a Netherlands-headquartered global logistics company, in remaining true to its lean management principles and sustainability commitments of worker-centric operations while meeting an important new customer's demanding requirements as well as attracting and retaining qualified employees in an unfavourable business environment. The case is part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) case series developed by Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University. It addresses several other related SDGs focusing on SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and can be used for teaching supply chain and operations management, organisational behaviour and human resources management, sustainability, ethics and general strategic management.


Corporate Social Responsibility

Sponsored by ESC PAU Business School

“SC Johnson and the Global Ocean Plastic Crisis", written by:

  • Syeda Maseeha Qumer, ICFAI, IN
  • Debapratim Purkayastha, ICFAI, IN
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The case addresses SC Johnson & Son, Inc.'s (SCJ) efforts to tackle the global crisis of plastic pollution in oceans, the complex environmental issue. It highlights the challenges the company faced in its fight against ocean plastic waste, including the plastic value chain's complexity, improvements in waste management, lack of adequate government regulations, and changing consumer behaviour towards plastic use. With plastic ocean waste being such a critical issue for the planet and human life, how could SCJ ensure that its commitment goes far enough to drive change on the ground?


Entrepreneurship

Sponsored by emlyon business school

“Nubank: Keeping Customers Captivated and Employees Engaged”, written by:

  • Suzanne Cordeau-Andrews, FGV-EAESP, BR
  • Umesh Mukhi, FGV-EAESP, BR
  • Beatriz M Braga, FGV-EAESP, BR
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The case raises contemporary issues about the growth challenges of the fintech startup Nubank. Based in São Paulo, Nubank has become one of the largest technology-based banks in Latin America. The case highlights how cumbersome bureaucracy in Brazilian banking led to the conception of a disruptive fintech startup with an entrepreneurial spirit. It shows the founders' emphasis on the importance of culture, values, and team spirit, which formed their organisational DNA's genesis. As Nubank grew, the founders realised how an entrepreneurial approach to defining its core values and culture became the strategic differentiation for competitiveness compared with the established banking sector's hierarchical system. The case's main teaching objective is to evaluate the organisational challenges for startups facing rapid growth, such as recruiting, designing, setting up, and managing teams while maintaining their corporate culture and values, essential to their differentiation strategy.


Family Business

Sponsored by Suliman S. Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut

"Family Feud at Aldi Nord", written by:

  • K B S Kumar, ICFAI Business School, IN
  • Indu Perepu, ICFAI Business School, IN
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

Germany-based Albrecht family owned and operated the Aldi discount supermarket chain in several countries across the world. The Albrecht family members regularly featured on the world's wealthiest people but maintained a highly secretive and reclusive lifestyle. Such a secretive family made it to the magazines' headlines not only in Germany but across the world due to a dispute that arose among the family members. After one of the brothers who owned Aldi Nord passed away, his widow and children adopted a lavish lifestyle and started using the money from one of the foundations that managed the company. Unhappy with their behaviour, the matriarch of the family excluded these members from her will. The family dispute started to impact the business, as significant investment decisions needed all the family members' consent.


Finance and Banking

Sponsored by Portsmouth Business School

"Fintech: Innovation without Disruption - How Prodigy Finance Achieved Both High Growth and Social Good", written by:

  • Chan Kim, INSEAD, FR
  • Renee Mauborgne, INSEAD, FR
  • Mi Ji, INSEAD, FR
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

Lack of access to financing was a major barrier impeding international students' pursuit of advanced education outside their home countries. Traditional banks were oblivious to the international student population's burning need as their practice focused on domestic borrowers and their local past credit records. Three young entrepreneurs founded a fintech company called Prodigy Finance and launched an internet lending platform with a future-based and cross-border risk assessment model, thereby effectively connecting international student borrowers with individual and institutional investors. The strategic move of Prodigy Finance constitutes an illustrative example of new market creation without disruption, i.e., nondisruptive creation, a concept coined by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne.


Hidden Champions

Sponsored by Hidden Champions Institute (HCI), ESMT Berlin

"Shandong Moris Chemical Co. Ltd. : A Hidden Champion in the Brine Chemical Industry", written by:

  • Lucas Wang, University of Nottingham Ningbo, CN
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

This case documents the process of Moris Chemicals developing into a hidden champion in the brine industry. Moris' main business has been the production and processing of brine chemicals. It originated from a fine chemical workshop in a small coastal city, Shouguang, in China. Despite the humble start, Moris now has multiple chemical products that dominate the worldwide market, making it a global leader in the industry. With the most recent diversification moving into water treatment and land improvement, its corporate umbrella has been stretched beyond purely chemical businesses.


Inclusive Business Models

Sponsored by IMD - Institute for Management Development

“Silulo Ulutho Technologies: Scaling a social enterprise in South Africa”, written by:

  • James Chiswell, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, ZA
  • Geoff Bick, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, ZA
  • Warren Nilsson, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, ZA
  • Sarah Boyd, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, ZA
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

For many, Silulo is the face of South African social entrepreneurship, which is why it has been so exciting to follow their journey from an innovative startup to an established provider of ICT services and training in underserved communities. We rarely get to see in the classroom, literature, or business media what happens after promising social enterprises find their feet and begin their arduous growth journeys. This case explores the scaling models available to social entrepreneurs and the emerging market conditions that shape founder decisions in both necessary and conflicting ways. In this case, true to their ubuntu and education values, Silulo has given students and instructors an open, transparent view of the challenges and pitfalls that can arise as social enterprises seize upon exciting opportunities to expand and deepen their impact.


Indian Management Issues and Opportunities

Sponsored by EFMD Global

"The Akshaya Nidhi Foundation - in Aid of Akshaya Patra", written by:

  • Anshuman Tripathy, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, IN
  • Akshat Raj, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, IN

EFMD Global would like to warmly thank the jury members Dr. Mohan Lal Agarwal and Prof. Gunjan Sanjeev for their expertise and contribution in assessing the cases submitted in the “Indian Management Issues and Opportunities” category.

+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

This case on Akshaya Nidhi shows how a non-profit social organization can structure with additional businesses to sustain itself economically. The Akshaya Patra Foundation runs the world's biggest midday meal feeding close to 1.7 million children daily (2017 numbers) from 33 kitchens across India. However, the government's reimbursement was not sufficient to sustain them, and the donations that were helping them bridge the gap in the past were not keeping pace. In addition, they had set themselves an ambitious target of feeding 5 million children per day by the year 2025. Evaluating various options led to the setting up of Akshaya Nidhi, a for-profit organization that followed the values and beliefs of Akshaya Patra; and the case describes how the organization was structured to meet legal requirements and share and distribute resources. The case will help students appreciate the importance of getting the organization structure to support a growing organization.


Innovative People Leadership Solutions in International Intergovernmental and Not-for-profit Organisations

Sponsored by AHRMIO

No submissions were selected for a prize. This testifies to the calibre of the competition, and we hope again to receive your outstanding case proposals for the upcoming edition! 


Latin American Business Cases

Sponsored by Universidad Externado de Colombia

"Internationalization at Cementos Argos", written by:

  • Esteban Brenes, INCAE Business School, CR
  • Luciano Ciravegna, INCAE Business School, CR
  • Ezequiel Reficco, EGADE Business School, MX
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

In October 2014, José Alberto Vélez, a Board member of Cementos Argos, and the company’s management team analyzed the options available to advance company growth. Holcim and Lafarge, two multinationals, had announced their merger, and Argos’ senior management team tried to find ways to leverage this news for their company’s expansion. The company resulting from the Holcim-Lafarge merger would need to disinvest in various countries, such as Brazil and Canada. Vélez and his team wondered if Argos should seize this opportunity to acquire assets in those markets. The company’s Board believed that Argos had the potential to increase shareholder value significantly, and furthering its international expansion seemed the most attractive option to do so. However, determining where the company should expand called for careful analysis.


MENA Business Cases

Sponsored by EFMD Global

"How Can an African Company Stand Out in the Premium Shoe Market? The Benson shoes case in Morocco", written by:

  • Imane El Ghazali, ESCA Ecole de Management, MA
  • Zoulikha Maaroufi, ESCA Ecole de Management, MA

EFMD Global would like to warmly thank Prof. Wolfgang Amann for his expertise and contribution in assessing the cases submitted in the “MENA Business Cases” category.

+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The case is based on a true story and represents some of the challenges that many MENA companies face today. The case can be very inspiring, and the students will appreciate the case experience, its analysis, and its discussion. The story is about a big adventure of a North African company wishing to assert its presence in a market essentially dominated by major international brands of premium shoes or even luxury. Benson shoe company is a 100% Moroccan SME, a family-owned company whose international market represented 75% of its sales. But, after the crisis that hit the European markets, it had experienced a sharp drop in its turnover in 2016. Setting higher sales as a priority, Benson Executives wanted to tackle the domestic market and wondered about the strategies to put in place to increase their market share.

MBAs and undergraduate participants have to analyse how to reconsider the strategies of a company like Benson Shoes in its market and how to design policies to enable the company to assert its brand while dealing with fierce competition from foreign brands.


Responsible Business

Sponsored by School of Business, The American University in Cairo (AUC)

"Mosabi: Gathering Forces for Social Change", written by:

  • Rachida Justo, IE University, ES
  • Caroline Tilden, IE University Alumni, ES
  • Krystyna Liakh, IE University Alumni, ES
  • Mona Müller, IE University Alumni/Senovo, DE
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

Mosabi is an app-based solution addressing the lack of financial literacy education and financial inclusion for informal sector entrepreneurs in Africa. By providing an alternative to traditional credit-scoring through education, Mosabi seeks to empower its users in the long term, generating a multiplier effect on their lives. It is designed to be financially sustainable as it also reduces the high cost of accessing the underbanked financial services providers (FSPs). To achieve its social and financial objectives, Mosabi measures economic and social impact and ensures the two go in lock-step. The case provides an opportunity to explore a social enterprise’s Human Resource Management, scaling and impact measurement strategies and analyze potential tensions corresponding to each of these strategies.


Responsible Leadership

Sponsored by University of San Diego School of Business

"Daddy Lab: A Chinese Social Enterprise’s Dilemma", written by:

  • Daniel Han Ming Chng, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), CN
  • Liman Zhao, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), CN
  • Byron Lee, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), CN
  • Peter Moran, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), CN
  • Hellen Heming Sun, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), CN
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

This case follows the four years' development of Daddy Lab, a Chinese social enterprise founded in 2015 by Wenfeng Wei. As a social entrepreneur, Wei realized that he must grapple with trying to make the world a safer place for children and their families while making a profit to sustain this purpose. Wei had established a model to make profits through Daddy Lab's dual role of "reviewer" and "seller", but he wondered whether this was appropriate for this social enterprise. As Wei considered Daddy Lab's future, the following questions kept him awake at night: Was his existing business model effective in helping Daddy Lab tackle the social mission he felt so passionate about?


Supply Chain Management

Sponsored by EFMD Global

"Traeger Pellet Grills: Cooking up the Competition"written by:

  • Mark Kosiba, Ivey Business School, CA
  • Simon Greathead, Brigham Young University, US

EFMD Global would like to warmly thank Jamie Rundle for his expertise and contribution in assessing the cases submitted in the “Supply Chain Management” category.

+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

In spring 2018, the chief supply chain officer of Traeger Pellet Grills, LLC, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, visited a supplier in Changzhou, China. He was meeting with the supplier the next day but had not fully decided how to manage the meeting. The supplier was responsible for a large portion of the company’s supply of grills and positioning itself as a competitor by tooling, designing, and producing knock-off products that were then directly marketed to consumers in the company’s strongest market—the United States. Although the supplier denied any involvement in the knock-off grills, the chief supply chain officer knew the tooling and styling were impossibly similar to his company’s products. There was no other facility in that supplier’s area with the capability to make look-alike grills at that level. The chief supply chain officer had to decide how to deal with the rebellious supplier.


Women in Business

Sponsored by IMD - Institute for Management Development

“The Dual Career Negotiation", written by:

  • Lara Bekhazi, INSEAD, AE
  • Horacio Falcao, INSEAD, AE
  • Eric Luis Uhlmann, INSEAD, SG
  • Martin Schweinsberg, ESMT Berlin, DE
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The Dual Career Negotiation case is a two-party, multi-issue role-play simulation based on the true story of a negotiation between a real couple, with names and details changed to protect their anonymity. Protagonists Alma and Pierre are employed by Rikoff Projects, a French firm with global operations specialising in designing and constructing large-scale infrastructure projects. Pierre has recently accepted a new position in Kuala Lumpur, transferring from Brisbane to be co-located with Alma and support her career at the firm. Around the same time, Alma learns that her Kuala Lumpur project has been cancelled. The couple must decide on how they navigate their impending career choices and shape their future together.

2019

African Business Cases

sponsored by China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)

SweepSouth South Africa: Contextually Intelligent Female Leadership of Entrepreneurial Domestic Serviceswritten by:

  • Tracey Toefy, University of Pretoria, ZA
  • Caren Scheepers, University of Pretoria, ZA
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

SweepSouth CEO and co-founder Aisha Pandor sought to scale her platform-based business. The platform connected over 9,000 unemployed domestic workers with clients looking for home cleaning services, and there were more than 80,000 applications from unemployed women wishing to join the platform. Pandor wondered how to scale the business so that more women could find regular work to support their families. Pandor described the domestic work industry as “broken and living in the past”. SweepSouth provided a solution to the main problems in the industry: domestic workers were often underpaid and stripped of their dignity, but their only alternative was unemployment. The company’s mission was therefore to create employment opportunities, leading to poverty alleviation. Possibilities for expansion of the platform included moving into other African countries, introducing the sale of cleaning products or even creating a corporate cleaning offering. Pandor needed to decide how best to scale the business.


Bringing Technology to Markets

sponsored by Bringing Technology to Market (BTM) Center, ESMT Berlin

“TOMTOM: Mapping the Course from B2C to B2B”, written by:

  • Steven Sweldens, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, NL
  • Stefano Puntoni, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, NL
  • Niela Kleinsmith, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, NL
  • Matthieu Campion, formerly at TomTom Automotive,
  • Tao Yue, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, NL
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

Faced with declining B2C sales from its iconic portable navigation device, Dutch firm TomTom needs to refocus public awareness on the location and navigation software technologies that have fed its success. However, sudden market intrusions from technology giants, such as Apple in the past, and now, Google, present significant challenges. How can TomTom firmly assert its position in this highly-competitive, B2B market? This web-supported, multi-source marketing case about TomTom’s journey from B2C to B2B was developed by a team of authors at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, in collaboration with TomTom. Teaching materials highlight managing brands over time, B2B versus B2C branding, Big Bang disruption, and autonomous driving. Featuring Corinne Vigreux, one of TomTom's founding members and leading executives, this case presents not only rapidly evolving technology and marketing trends, but also, an exceptional female protagonist in a male-dominated sector.


Continuous Improvement: The Journey to Excellence

Sponsored by Instituto Internacional San Telmo – Cátedra Mayoral de Mejora Continua

“Northwestern Memorial Hospital: Smoothing Material Flow through the Receiving Area”, written by:

  • John Nicholas, Loyola University of Chicago, US
  • Paul Suett, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, US
  • Hussam Bachour, University of Chicago Medicine, US
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The case describes the internal supply chain at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.  Packages arriving at the hospital were processed through the receiving area for distribution to supply rooms; on average this took three days—in most cases fa longer than required. Fearing shortages, clinicians often over-ordered, causing overstocked supply rooms. Lacking space, packages had to be stocked in hospital corridors, an intolerable situation.

Drawing from lean principles, a team of receiving-area staff value-stream mapped the process and discovered batch processing, motion waste, and defects as major contributors to the long lead time. Based on this information, they revised the receiving-area process and physical layout and instituted standard work procedures and visual management controls.  Results: smoother material flow and a reduced average lead time from three days to one day.  Among the benefits: greatly improved satisfaction among hospital clinicians; elimination of overtime, reorders, rush orders, and lost packages; and an estimated annual inventory savings of USD $20 million.


Corporate Social Responsibility

Sponsored by ESC PAU Business School

“Barry Callebaut: Forever Chocolate”, written by:

  • Craig Smith, INSEAD, FR
  • Ron Soonieus, INSEAD, FR
  • Lisa Duke, Self-employed, CH
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

Absent sufficient action on sustainability, there will be no cocoa beans and, thus, no chocolate. Barry Callebaut (BC), the world’s largest B2B cocoa and chocolate company, transformed from viewing sustainable cocoa as being of little interest to embracing it fully. In 2016, BC set four highly ambitious targets to achieve by 2025 – eradicating child labour from its supply chain, lifting more than half-a-million cocoa farmers out of poverty, becoming carbon and forest positive, and ensuring 100% sustainable ingredients in all products. Knowing it was impossible to make changes in isolation, BC started a movement under the banner “Forever Chocolate”, involving multiple stakeholders. The case demonstrates that sustainability needs to be an integral part of the business. It presents the progress made by BC over the first two years and illustrates the difficulties encountered. It challenges students to consider what more can be done, and whether this is “radical corporate sustainability”.


Entrepreneurship

Sponsored by emlyon business school

“Developing an Effective Corporate Innovation System: The Case of the Bosch Group”, written by:

  • Ann-Kathrin Leiting, ETH Zürich, CH
  • Jana Thiel, ETH Zürich, CH
  • Bart Clarysse, ETH Zürich, CH
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

This case introduces the Robert Bosch Group—a widely acknowledged global player in the high technology industry—and its current approach to corporate entrepreneurship. Recent changes and intensified technological dynamism in the automotive industry, the company’s main business sector, call for a strategic reorientation and an exploration of new business fields. Subsequently, the company had made significant investments into a broad range of corporate entrepreneurship initiatives, e.g. hackatons, accelerator program, etc., to enable employees to generate new ideas and experiment in lean start-up fashion to identify and validate impactful new business opportunities. The case describes the goals, setup, and challenges of organizing these initiatives, notably how to create and protect projects that do not fit the company’s core business field and could potentially disrupt its current activities.


Family Business

Sponsored by Suliman S. Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut

“Technology Park Company: Harvesting the fruits of a family business”, written by:

  • Ashraf Sheta, American University in Cairo (AUC), EG
  • Gamila Ibrahim, American University in Cairo (AUC), EG
  • Ahmed Darwich, American University in Cairo (AUC), EG
  • Ahmed El Tahan, American University in Cairo (AUC), EG
  • Ali Fouda, American University in Cairo (AUC), EG
  • Farah El Misalami, American University in Cairo (AUC), EG
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The case addresses Technology Park Company a privately-owned company working in the field of IT. The case starts with a background about the entrepreneur, and his journey to success. It moves through a timeline, which started in Cairo, then the USA, and then back to Egypt again. The founding entrepreneur possesses vast experience in the field of IT. However, he is faced with a lot of challenges in his business due to the fast changes happening in the industry. Some of the major concerns related to the family business challenges are discussed, these include succession, the involvement of partners, and finally separation of management from ownership.


Finance and Banking

Sponsored by Portsmouth Business School

“JPMorgan Chase & Co. – Creating a Next-Gen Banking Experience Powered by Digital Technology”written by:

  • Anil Anirudhan, ICFAI Business School, IN
  • Sanjib Dutta, ICFAI Business School, IN
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The case is about the digital technologies play adopted by JPMorgan Chase (JPMC) to stay relevant amidst changing customer expectations and the increasing trend of digital banking. The case deals with the growth of JPMC over the years and its digital initiatives which included the ‘mobile first, digital everything’ strategy. The use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning provided JPMC’s customers superior customer value. JPMC also developed multiple mobile apps for its customers. These included Chase Mobile, Finn, and JPMorgan Mobile. JPMC tied up with several FinTech companies to develop new technologies for its banking operations. Even though it had emerged as a disrupter in the banking industry with its innovative technologies, it faced an ever-growing threat from banking organizations aligned with technology companies and from technology players with an eye on banking and financial services.


Hidden Champions

Sponsored by Hidden Champions Institute (HCI), ESMT Berlin

“Digitally-Powered Customer-Centricity in the Industrial Gas Sector: The Air Liquide-Airgas Merger”, written by:

  • David Dubois, INSEAD, SG
  • Jean-Michel Moslonka, Agalio, FR
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

The case sets the stage for a vibrant discussion of how Air Liquide, a leading gas supplier to the industrial and healthcare sectors, strategically leverages digital technologies to strengthen customer relationships across its broad portfolio of customers following its acquisition of US company Airgas. Serving an increasingly diverse set of customers implies to select and deploy digital technologies within a multi-segment customer-centric strategy. Readers step into the shoes of top Air Liquide executives and take on the task to articulate the steps and transformation Air Liquide needs to embrace to harness the power of digital technologies around the customer after the merger. Group discussions reveal what technological features best match with specific customer segments. The discussion also covers how to effectively blend the two companies’ culture and approaches to customer centricity, learn from each other by taking the best of both worlds and turn the company into a glocal champion.


Inclusive Business Models

Sponsored by IMD - Institute for Management Development

“BanaPads: To grow or not to grow? That is the question”, written by:

  • Luisa Alemany, London Business School, UK
  • Nicholas Andreou, Big Society Capital, UK
  • Alma Gutierrez, Elevar Equity, MX
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

While growing up, Richard Bbaale saw his sister missing school due to lack of access to sanitary towels. After becoming a teacher, he observed the same trend amongst teenage girls, with high levels of absenteeism, and therefore poor grades at the end of term. Richard took it upon himself to change things. In 2010, Richard founded BanaPads to make affordable sanitary pads from the stems of banana trees that grow in Uganda. By late 2018 BanaPads had 25,000 unique customers and was selling 400,000 pads per month. However, the current production facilities were not able to meet demand and growth opportunities. Automation of the production facilities required US$500,000 in financing to allow BanaPads to increase production by up to 12x. However, Richard was struggling to balance how much social impact to trade off for appealing financial projections. What was the right growth plan? And, even more important, how could they attract the necessary financing to make sure that BanaPads would become a self-sustaining company in the long term, while generating social impact?


Indian Management Issues and Opportunities

Sponsored by EFMD

“Pepperfry.com: Turning the tables on disruption”, written by:

  • Amit M. Joshi, IMD, CH
  • Ivy Buche, IMD, CH

EFMD would like to warmly thank the jury members Prof. Radha R. Sharma, Prof. Vaidyanathan Jayaraman, and Prof. Mahadeo Jaiswal for their expertise and contribution in assessing the cases submitted in the “Indian Management Issues and Opportunities” category.

+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

Pepperfry, India's largest online furniture retailer, disrupted the furniture and home decor market while overcoming the challenges of India's weak infrastructure, age-old methods of buying and selling from local carpentry shops, lack of trust in e-commerce and a massive geography. By 2018 Pepperfry had grown exponentially to control over 60% of India’s online furniture market. However, several questions remained. Despite controlling costs and significantly expanding revenues, it was not profitable. Pepperfry had embarked on an omnichannel strategy establishing physical studios in Tier 1 cities. How could it manage this online-offline complexity, while staying on track to break even? Finally, the competitive space had heated up significantly with international giants like Ikea and Amazon entering the Indian market. Did Pepperfry have the brand name, systems and agility to respond to these challenges? Or will the disruptor be disrupted?


Innovative People Leadership Solutions in International Intergovernmental and Not-for-profit Organisations

Sponsored by AHRMIO

“Managing the Growth of an Innovative Subsidiary in the Voluntary Sector: Fondation Caritas France, an Offshoot of Secours Catholique”written by:

  • Arthur Gautier, ESSEC Business School, FR
  • With an assistance of Fanny Massy, ESSEC Business School student.
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

This case affords students the opportunity to discover how large charities and NGOs can innovate from within by setting up “subsidiaries” supported by some of their managers and executives. The originality of the case lies in the fact that it studies an intrapreneurial innovation – here, a “sheltering foundation” to attract new philanthropic resources for the mission – on the part of a large, established charity reliant on donations.

The case enables students to:

  • discover how innovation and intrapreneurship can take hold in a large, nonprofit organization;
  • understand how setting up a subsidiary is a possible strategy for developing new resources for this type of organization;
  • analyse the success factors and consider whether this success can be sustained;
  • learn how to manage such unexpected success, potentially generating a form of competition with the parent organization, and how to find balance between both organisations.

Latin American Business Cases

Sponsored by Universidad Externado de Colombia

“Cinépolis S.A. de C.V. and KLIC: Rising to the Streaming Challenge “, written by:

  • Francisco Gil-White, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, MX
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

In general terms, the case seeks to familiarize the students with the challenges that a new entrant will face in a mature OTT (‘over the top’) market—the market, which Netflix made famous, for audio, video, and other media transmitted via the Internet as a standalone product (that is, without an operator of multiple cable or direct-broadcast satellite television systems). As such, the case steers students to consider the benefits of developing a niche strategy, stimulating them to think about unmet consumer demands that the OTT giants have difficulty capitalizing on. Specifically, the case is about Cinépolis, a Mexican company that is one of the most important players, worldwide, in the cinema-theater space, and the owner of a platform that is a recent entrant into the OTT space: KLIC. The case explores the challenges of competing against Netflix, Claro Video, Blim, and Apple TV, among others, and possible opportunities that may exist for synergies between a properly niched strategy for KLIC and Cinépolis’ highly profitable and innovative movie-theater business, which has been aggressively grown in Mexico and internationally with an out-of-the-box disruptive business culture. It is appropriate for undergraduate or MBA students, and it is useful in strategy and marketing courses.


MENA Business Cases

Sponsored by HEC Paris in Qatar

"Almajid Limited: The tumultuous journey of a multigenerational enterprise in Saudi Arabia (Parts A, B, C & D)”, written by:

  • Virginia Bodolica, American University of Sharjah, AE
  • Martin Spraggon, Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University, AE
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

This case offers an exclusive opportunity to follow the tumultuous journey of a Saudi family-owned enterprise and analyse the different phases of its evolution over seven decades and three generations. The case highlights the complexities surrounding the management of a family firm and illustrates how various life-cycle stages stemming from multiple domains (family, business, industry, ownership, and governance) simultaneously influence the family business strategy. Being embedded in the context of Saudi Arabia, the case unveils the unique challenges of managing a diversified, multi-generational family organization in a conservative cultural setting. The case study is divided into four parts, with each of them putting the emphasis on a different life-cycle area of significance for the evolution of the family business. Each part culminates with the identification of an area-relevant dilemma that needs to be addressed for the family firm to be able to move into the next stage of its development.


Responsible Business

Sponsored by School of Business, The American University in Cairo (AUC)

“Voles System’s Bribery Accusations in China”, written by:

  • Daniel Han Ming Chng, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), CN
  • Xin Pi, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), CN
  • Liman Zhao, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), CN
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

This case describes the bribery accusations and subsequent investigations at the Chinese subsidiary of a disguised U.S. public-listed company in the oil and gas industry called “Voles System” (Voles). The company was investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) after two internal investigations failed to find evidence to substantiate internal whistleblower allegations that the Mainland China office had bribed Chinese officials to win contracts. The DOJ’s investigation revealed a “slush” fund created by a few managers to entertain potential clients but no evidence of bribery of Chinese officials. The investigation was not only costly and disruptive but also hurt the company’s reputation in the industry. The case asks students to identify the causes of governance failure using a corporate governance framework, suggest short-term and long-term recommendations to improve the corporate governance system and discuss more general issues relating to responsible management in emerging markets.


Responsible Leadership

Sponsored by University of San Diego School of Business

“PMI’s Vision of a Smoke-Free Future: Can a Tobacco Company be Sustainable?”, written by:

  • Vanina Farber, IMD - Institute for Management Development, CH
  • Natalia Olynec, IMD - Institute for Management Development, CH
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

Philip Morris International (PMI) CEO André Calantzopoulos announced in 2016 a radical pivot in the Marlboro cigarette manufacturer’s strategy: the company would shift to “smoke-free” products in more than 180 countries around the world. One of these products was IQOS, a new “heat-not-burn” (HNB) device aimed at providing the world’s over 1 billion “adult smokers with better options.” Calantzopoulos and PMI’s Board believed that its sustainability strategy was critical to the company’s success. Nevertheless, convincing important stakeholders that a tobacco company could be part of the solution to rid the world of cigarettes by offering better alternatives was a different matter. The United Nations, World Health Organization (WHO), regulators, public health advocates, and some sustainable investors said that there was no safe level of use and no opportunity for effective engagement with tobacco companies. PMI organized the 2020 Stakeholder Engagement Meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland to convene key stakeholders to engage with PMI’s smoke-free business transformation.


Supply Chain Management

Sponsored by Coventry Business School

SmarterChains Workshop: Building an Industry 4.0 Transformation Roadmapwritten by:

  • Ralf W. Seifert, IMD - Institute for Management Development, CH
  • Richard Markoff, IMD - Institute for Management Development, CH
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

This case is a workshop exercise built with SmarterChains, an Industry 4.0 enterprise intelligence platform. It is a complement to a class session on Industry 4.0, a difficult subject to teach as it comprises dozens of technologies that are evolving rapidly and whose use cases can be difficult to immediately grasp without concrete examples. Modelled after a consumer goods factory, this workshop-type case encourages students to consider the managerial challenges of building an Industry 4.0 roadmap while illustrating concrete use cases for several key technologies. The students are given information about the current state of the factory and are provided with around 30 cards describing potential technologies the factory could choose to apply. Working in groups, they are asked to select up to 10 technologies to apply, in a sequence of their choosing. The case includes a benchmark solution and is supported by various videos.


Women in Business

Sponsored by IMD - Institute for Management Development

“Google LLC: The Diversity Manifesto and Leader Candour”, written by:

  • Raymond Chiu, Brock University, CA
  • Fernando Olivera, Ivey Business School, CA
+ SHORT CASE SUMMARY

This case highlights the challenge of a diversity officer in the heated context of gender discrimination and ideological conflicts. In August 2017, a memo written by an engineer at Google LLC (Google) was leaked to the public, revealing fractured communication and leadership at Google. Labelled an “anti-diversity manifesto” by its detractors, the memo set off a public controversy over the causes of gender disparities in tech and the limits of free speech within organizations. With ideological divisions across the company, open disdain expressed between colleagues, and the credibility of leaders at a low, the new vice-president of diversity needed to establish trust and candour among the employees and move the company forward.  The teaching addresses women in STEM, scientific interpretations of gender bias, legal analysis, and leader communication. Translations are available in Simplified Chinese and Japanese.

 

To find information about the winners of the Case Writing Competition from editions before 2019, please visit the Case Centre's website.

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